Daily Archives: September 14, 2021

“Oopsie,” Says the Administration’s Oopsie Master (UPDATED)

Note: Updated below with comments from Gov. Scott.

Welp, the Scott administration, deliberately or otherwise, pulled a fast one on the Legislature. Remember that painfully-negotiated unemployment insurance deal? The one that obtained a supplemental $25/week in UI benefits in exchange for a great big tax break for businesses?

Yeah, well, you’re not getting the 25 bucks. I’ll assume that the businesses still get their [checks notes] $300 million over 10 years.

Yep, Vermont’s jobless — and the Legislature — took it in the shorts.

The problem, as VTDigger’s Fred Thys reports, is that the federal government has ruled that the extra benefit can’t be paid out of the state’s unemployment trust fund.

Here’s where the frequently embattled Labor Commissioner Michael Harrington comes in. He received word on June 14 that the feds might have a problem with the benefit as written.

He informed the Legislature on… wait for it… August 24.

He said he didn’t take action until he got definitive word from the feds. But the delay also meant the Legislature had no chance to take corrective action, which would have been pretty simple. “Hindsight is always 20-20,” Harrington said, unhelpfully.

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